Stellantis CEO Says Pace of EV Push Hinges on Elections

EV Investment Plan Depends on Outcomes of American and European Elections, Tavares Says
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares speaks during the New York International Auto Show on April 5, 2023. (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg News)

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Stellantis NV CEO Carlos Tavares said elections in the U.S. and Europe this year will dictate how quickly he can execute his 30 billion euro investment plan in electric vehicles.

Tavares said spending will either accelerate or slow down depending on who gets elected. “I have no scenario for the fact that it would stop because we need to fix the global warming issue,” he said Jan. 19 at a roundtable with reporters.

Stellantis has been slower to introduce new EV models to the U.S. than its Detroit rivals. Its first fully electric Jeep SUV and the electric Ram pickup will reach the U.S. this year. Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. have delayed EV investment in recent months as American car buyers have cooled on EVs, balking at the high prices and a spotty charging infrastructure.

President Joe Biden, who had made speeding EV adoption a centerpiece of his agenda, trailed former President Donald Trump by 5 percentage points among registered voters in seven swing states in a Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll last month. Carmakers are pushing back on the Biden administration’s efforts to increase fuel economy, saying stricter rules would cost them billions in fines.

In Europe, elections taking place in June also could pose a risk for electric vehicle adoption if the bloc’s new parliament decides to further water down EV regulations. Last year, Germany’s lobbying to include e-fuels in the EU’s regulations to effectively ban new sales of combustion engine cars by 2035 nearly derailed the legislation.

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